BOSTON—Boston entrepreneur Prashanth Palakurthi and his wife Anuradha Palakurthi have pledged a gift of $1 million to their alma mater: Birla Institute of Technology and Science, known as BITS Pilani, according to news reports.
Press Trust of India reported that this is the largest individual donation ever received by the institution. The Palakurthi couple made the announcement on Friday, during the ruby anniversary celebrations of Prashanth’s 1978-83 batch.
More than 200 alumni of the batch have gathered from all over the world to relive their campus memories in the desert town of Pilani in Rajasthan from November 16-18, according to PTI.
Prof Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani, termed the announcement by the Palakurthis as momentous and a game changing gesture, PTI said.
“With this pledge, BITS Pilani is launching a campaign to set up a Rs 100 crore Research Endowment Fund. This fund would help provide an additional thrust to Research by way of attracting research-driven faculty, post-doctoral fellows and research scholars,” Prof. Bhattacharyya was quoted as saying by PTI. “I believe Prashanth and Anuradha have started a brilliant endeavour to propel BITS Pilani to the next level; I understand they will continue to support and I invite other eminent Alumni to support us in our efforts.”
Mr. Palakurthi is the Founder and CEO of Dedham, MA-based Reflexis Systems, and his wife Anuradha, the founder of Juju Productions LLC, is a professional singer and radio personality in the United States.
Juju Productions, a Boston-based music and video production company, presented Desert Storm, a musical program during the ruby anniversary celebrations of 1978-83 batch. Anuradha was accompanied by a 39-member Bollywood band, including members of the original R.D. Burman team.
Anuradha has been recognized as the top-rated singer of Indian origin by industry legends. She has performed live with Bollywood singers like Kumar Sanu, Suresh Wadkar, Deepak Pandit and Bappi Lahiri across the United States. Anuradha has recorded a duet with Hariharan for Ekal Vidyalaya – composed by guitarist Prasanna with drummer Sivamani and a group of 14 multiple-Grammy winning musicians from across the globe. She sings in six Indian languages and has recorded playback for South Indian films.
Her production “Music Room” with Bappi & Bappa Lahiri will be broadcasted on Zee TV Americas in December 2018. Anuradha’s second production, composed by Ustad Nishat Khan, will be released by the end of 2018.
Anuradha is a student of Vidushi Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar, who remains her constant source of guidance and inspiration.